, Volume 49, Issue 6, pp 520-524
Date: 18 Oct 2012

Sexual Economics, Culture, Men, and Modern Sexual Trends

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Across the late 20th century, ideas about sex came from two main sources. One was evolutionary theory, based on the field of biology. The other was feminist and social constructionist theory, based in the field of political science. Though important insights have come from both sources, there was a growing body of evidence that did not easily fit either of those. We therefore turned to another field to develop a new theory. The field was economics, and we labeled our theory “sexual economics” (Baumeister and Vohs 2004). At first, our theory was constructed to fit what was already known, making it an exercise in hindsight. It is therefore highly revealing to see how the theory has fared in Regnerus and Uecker’s (2011) pioneering studies of the recent, ongoing shifts in sexual behavior in American society.

The value of an economic perspective is abundantly clear in Regnerus’s work. Not only does he analyze behavior in terms of markets. In a political democracy, majority rules, and such po ...